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Home Others A 22-year-old is arrested in Spain in connection with last year’s Twitter...

A 22-year-old is arrested in Spain in connection with last year’s Twitter hack.


A 22-year-old man was arrested in Spain on Wednesday in connection with the hack of more than 100 Twitter accounts last July, becoming the fourth person charged in the incident that led to a temporary shutdown of the social media service.

Joseph O’Connor faces charges in the United States of hacking, extortion and cyberstalking for the Twitter breach, and for hacks of Snapchat and TikTok accounts, the Justice Department said.

The Twitter hack began when the hackers connected in an online forum last year focused on buying and selling rare user names. They then broke into Twitter’s systems by tricking employees into providing login information. The hackers used an administrative tool to take over accounts belonging to political figures and celebrities, including former President Barack Obama, Kanye West and Elon Musk, using the accounts to conduct a Bitcoin scam.

Graham Ivan Clark, an 18-year-old who prosecutors said was the “mastermind” of the Twitter hack, pleaded guilty to fraud charges in March in a Florida court and agreed to serve three years in juvenile prison. Two others, Mason Sheppard and Nima Fazeli, were arrested and accused of serving as middlemen for Mr. Clark to sell the Twitter accounts.

Mr. O’Connor was a well-known figure among hackers dealing in user names, going by the name “PlugWalkJoe.” According to chat logs that the hackers shared with The New York Times last July, Mr. O’Connor interacted with the group briefly, acquiring the Twitter handle @6.

At the time, Mr. O’Connor denied involvement in the Bitcoin scam. “I don’t care,” he said in an interview. “They can come arrest me. I would laugh at them. I haven’t done anything.”

According to an affidavit submitted by an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation who investigated the breach, Twitter’s logs showed that a Twitter account belonging to Mr. O’Connor viewed several accounts, as though shopping, during the hack.

Mr. O’Connor, who is British, faces extradition to the United States and will face charges in Northern California. A lawyer for Mr. O’Connor could not be immediately identified. Twitter declined to comment.



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